747400sp
Topic Author
Posts: 3889
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

Fed Ex A Pape That Got A Low Grade, Proved It Self

Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:07 am

When Fred Smith was a student at Yale University, he wrote a term paper ( I believe) on how mail should be ship over night by airfreight. His professor was unimpressed and gave him a C, years later Fred Smith started a business base on his term paper that is now know as Fed Ex. The reason I writing this post is because I am very impress with Fred Smith for sticking with his ideal and letting some professor make him feel stupid. I would like to see what that professor think today, about the Billions dollar company he gave a C to.


Fred Smith. I have a lot of respect for you. 747400SP
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13808
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RE: Fed Ex A Pape That Got A Low Grade, Proved It Self

Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:17 am

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
The reason I writing this post is because I am very impress with Fred Smith for sticking with his ideal and letting some professor make him feel stupid. I would like to see what that professor think today, about the Billions dollar company he gave a C to.

Professors are very good at giving bad advice and putting down good ideas.

In my field, I hear stories about people taking screenwriting classes at top film schools and listen to the advice they give in those classes. Most of the advice is dead wrong, and the projects that get the most recognition are some of the worst. Which is why people make so many jokes about "student films" in pop culture.

While there are some professors who make a lot of money due to their advice and consulting being valuable, a great number are failures in their fields, which is why they are teaching in a low risk, tenured position rather than out in the world putting their theories to the test and making a lot of money doing so. (this of course does not apply to every field and every professor, but in my experience, it's over 50%, and the ones most vocal about their condemnation/advice/disapproval are the ones who fit this stereotype best).

It is no coincidence that some of the greatest visionaries of the past 100 years did not go to, finish, or do well in college...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5709
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Fed Ex A Pape That Got A Low Grade, Proved It Self

Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:06 am

It deserved a C or worse because it was not very well prepared.

From Smith: "Today the paper is kind of famous, and it's because of a careless comment I once made. I was asked what grade I got on it, and I stupidly said 'I guess I got my usual gentlemanly C.' That stuck and it's become a well-known story because everybody likes to flout authority. But to be honest, I really don't remember what grade I got. I probably didn't get a very good one though, because it wasn't a well thought-out paper."

http://www.fedex.com/us/about/news/o...cord/speaker/fredsmith.pdf?link=4.

Of course his BIG success with FDX was sticking with the money losing concept for over three very unprofitable years.

Though some people thought a lot of illegal moves were made before FDX became profitable. Smith was even prosecuted for bank fraud based on some of the paperwork as he struggled to keep the airline from bankruptcy as creditors tried to shut him down. He was not convicted.

"We'd run out of money and we didn't have all the regulatory requirements that we needed. My half-sisters were up in arms because it looked like we were going to lose some money. Everything was going wrong, except the fundamentals of the business were proving every single day that the idea was right."

Also, please read Smith's comments - the paper in college was about a logistics system and how the post office was not good enough for keeping computers (mainframes) up for critical companies like banks.

His idea to use aircraft, in combination with trucks - did not come until years later.

[Edited 2007-09-24 04:21:36]
 
boeingfever777
Posts: 1990
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RE: Fed Ex A Pape That Got A Low Grade, Proved It Self

Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:11 am

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
When Fred Smith was a student at Yale University, he wrote a term paper ( I believe) on how mail should be ship over night by airfreight. His professor was unimpressed and gave him a C, years later Fred Smith started a business base on his term paper that is now know as Fed Ex. The reason I writing this post is because I am very impress with Fred Smith for sticking with his ideal and letting some professor make him feel stupid. I would like to see what that professor think today, about the Billions dollar company he gave a C to.

Sept/Oct. Airliners Magazine Pg. 31....
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
 
747400sp
Topic Author
Posts: 3889
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

RE: Fed Ex A Pape That Got A Low Grade, Proved It Self

Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:25 am

Quoting BoeingFever777 (Reply 3):
Sept/Oct. Airliners Magazine Pg. 31

Yes, I got the post from that article, I also herd this story on a radio show in the late 90's, may be I should mention that. If anybody get a chance to go the Barns&Nobal, go to the magazine stand, they may still have this model of Airliners Magazine in stock. It gives a lot of good info on the history of Fed Ex.

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